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Lesson 15: Before and After


Let's Learn English Level 2 Lesson 15: Before and After
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Let's Learn English Level 2 Lesson 15: Before and After

Summary

Anna hires a trainer to get back into shape. Her trainer does not read her application carefully. So, he offers her a workout program that she does not enjoy.

Conversation

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Anna: Penelope, even though we both love speed walking, could we slow down a bit?

Penelope: No way! I think because I’m walking with you, I’m walking faster.

Anna: Come on, Penelope. Let's take a break. We've been speed walking since 8 a.m.! You're so competitive! You even wore your medals!

Penelope: You brought your trophies! You’re out of shape. When we were little girls, we could speed walk all day! (pulls ahead)

Anna: (chases her) Hey, wait for me! Hey, you know the speed walking rules! If both feet leave the ground, it’s running! You ran!

Prof. Bot: Anna and Penelope are doing something they both love - speed walking!

They are also using adverb clauses.

Adverb clauses tell us when, why, how, where and under what conditions.

For example, "since 8 a.m." tells us when.

Adverb clauses are dependent clauses and need an independent clause to make a complete sentence.

Words like before, after, when, because, since, if and even though can signal an adverb clause.

Keep watching for more adverb clauses!

Penelope: Whew! That was great!

Anna: (Anna catches up) Wow, Penelope, you’re still really fast! Since I’ve been working in an office, my speed walking has been much slower.

Penelope: You are slower, Anna. Maybe you should hire a personal trainer.

Anna: That will be great. As long as the trainer understands speed walking.

Penelope: (hands her a business card) Try this company. After you fill out an online application, they will match you to the perfect trainer.

Anna: As soon as I get home tonight, I’ll do it! Thanks.

Anna: Are you my trainer?

Alaskan Albert: If you’re Anna, then I’m your trainer -- Alaskan Albert. Because I’m from Alaskan wilderness, I’m skilled in all outdoor activities of the wild.

Anna: That’s great but what about speed walking?

Alaskan Albert: Speed walking? That's funny! Since I’ve been living in the city, I’ve combined wilderness training with a city workout. I call it “Call of the Wild Parkour!” (He howls like a wolf.)

Anna: Okay … but seriously, when do we speed walk?

Alaskan Albert: Your application did not say how funny you are!

Anna: No. But it did say that I'm a speed walker! Did you read it? Forget it. We'll have to cancel.

Alaskan Albert: Why?

Anna: We can't train today because it's too cold and too windy.

Alaskan Albert: No way! No pain, no gain! When you exercise in really cold weather, you feel alive!

Anna: Really? Because right now I just feel cold.

Alaskan Albert: You're so funny. But seriously, after our training, you will be ready for any extreme physical challenge. Let's get started!

(He leads Anna through some parkour exercises.)

Alaskan Albert: Anna, even though you’re trying really hard, you’re really bad at Call of the Wild Parkour. (he howls)

Anna: I'm bad at Call of the Wild Parkour because I don’t want to do Call of the Wild Parkour! (she howls) I am a speed walker. It’s what I do. It’s part of who I am.

Alaskan Albert: Why didn’t you say something?

Anna: I did. Several times! You thought I was joking.

Alaskan Albert: Now I understand. Anna, I can help you., if you follow my advice, I'll put the speed back in your speed walk.

(He shows her how to improve her speed walking)

Alaskan Albert: Go, Anna, go!

Prof. Bot: For more about adverb clauses, visit our website!

New Words

advice - n. an opinion or suggestion about what someone should do
application - n. a formal and usually written request for something
challenge - n. a difficult task or problem or something that is hard to do
competitive - adj. having a strong desire to win or be the best at something
extreme - adj. (sports) unusual and dangerous
fill out - phrasal verb. to complete something by providing necessary information
follow - v. to be guided by (something)
no pain, no gain - expression. If you want to improve, you must work so hard that it hurts.
parkour - n. the activity or sport of moving rapidly through an area, typically in an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing.
personal trainer - n. a person who teaches or coaches athletes or animals
physical - adj. relating to the body of a person instead of the mind
skilled - adj. having the training, knowledge, and experience that is needed to do something
though - adv. used when you are saying something that is different from or contrasts with a previous statement
wild - n. a wild, free, or natural place, state, or existence

Learning Strategy

The learning strategy for this lesson is Access Resources. That means to find help as you learn. Sometimes that help can come from a book or an electronic dictionary. At other times, you can find help from other learners or teachers.

In this lesson, Anna looks for help from a personal trainer. She has forgotten how to speed walk well. Penelope thinks that the trainer can help Anna, so she gives Anna his card. Anna accesses resources when she asks the trainer for help.

There are many resources you can access as you learn English. Which ones work best for you? Do you use online dictionaries or grammar guides? Do you work with friends who are good at English? Write to us in the Comments section or send us an email.

Listening Quiz

See how well you understand this lesson by taking a listening quiz. Play each short video, then choose the best answer.

Free Materials

Word Book
Word Book

Download the VOA Learning English Word Book for a dictionary of the words we use on this website.

For Teachers

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Grammar focus: Adverb clauses (using even though, when, since, if, before, after, as, because)

Topics: Describing exercise; Indicating misinformation​

Learning Strategy: Access resources

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Let's Learn English - Level 2 is a new course for English learners. Certified American English teachers designed the course for intermediate learners.

Each week, there will be a new lesson with a video showing the lives of young Americans. The lesson includes instruction in speaking, vocabulary, and writing.

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